This morning started promisingly with a meeting with Air NZ at the coffee shop underneath their flash offices in downtown Auckland.¬† Hopefully another convert to the puregolf story, and potentially they could be a real help in overcoming the logistical (and financial) challenge involved with our year. Touch wood.
The golf today was at North Shore golf club. North Shore is unique in that is has 27 holes separated into three different nines, and any two of the nine holes can be combined depending on the day and the mood of the green staff. Today we played two nines which together formed the ‚??Red course‚?Ě.¬† The golf was slow and combined with my less than bubbly mood, the opening holes seemed quite tedious. It was no surprise then that my frustrations flowed through to my putting and a number of three putts did neither the score, or the mood, any favours.
However, we were on the golf course and a mighty fine golf course in that so it only got better as the round went on.¬† A couple of long putts always help ‚?? a relatively easy task when the greens are running at a good speed like today.
On the 10th tee we were joined by two affable chaps, Alan and John. Both these guys have been members of North Shore golf club for at least as long as I have been alive, so their local knowledge did not go amiss. By this stage JP and I were both starting to hit the ball with some (but not a lot of) conviction so our haggle (JP and I against the locals) was always going to be a close one. John just about made eagle on the 10th (with a shot) and things were looking ominous. John continued to play like a dream and hit it really well to break 80 off a 13 handicap ‚?? great golf. But Jamie and I stayed there or thereabouts (largely thanks to Jim‚??s play) and I managed to sink a four footer on the last to halve both the haggle with the locals and the stablefords for the day against Jamie. So there were no weetbix consumed today! scores 84/85 for 32 points each.
North Shore golf club impressed me today. There are some interesting holes wandering around the river and a few lakes that keep the ball manufacturers in a job.¬† The fairways, greens and bunkering were all in great condition ‚?? which for me is starting to become a must for any course in the top bracket.¬† One hole was particularly gnarly ‚?? the par 4 15th measuring in at 430+m off the black tees. It did not help that when we stood on the tee today it was pouring with rain (and without my wet weather gear I was drenched). ¬†
The day finished with dinner at distant relatives of mine, two of whom I had not met, but live a mere 5 minute walk from where we have been staying in Auckland. We had a beautiful dinner (featuring kiwi lamb and some spectacular chocolate meringues) with Tony, Shona and Bill.¬† We traded notes with Bill, particularly re Royal Auckland which he has been playing around for many many years. It is pretty inspiring that at 90 he still gets out once a week and scores ‚??about 100‚??.¬† Tony has been involved with Millbrook so it was interesting to hear some thoughts that have been behind the developments there.
Finally, whilst on the family note, it has been great to have spent a couple of days with my Auntie Jane and Sarge, along with my folks and Jo (lil sis) who travelled to Auckland for a couple of nights to join in the puregolf experience.¬† I think that the olds saw puregolf as just a big yarn when I first talked about it with them back in October but now they are some of our biggest supporters.¬† Both mum and dad are avid golfers and it was cool for them to see what we get up to, how we get received at the various golf courses, and all the admin that goes on behind the scenes.¬† The family thing will continue this coming week as we head into Sydney. ¬†In the meanwhile it was goodbye to the olds for another year or so, but you will be pleased to know I endeavored to ‚??keep in touch‚??.¬†
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